Matthew Donnelly in action against Dublin in this year's All-Ireland semi-final. Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
Man Down

Blow for Tyrone as two-time All-Star set to be ruled out for six months

Matthew Donnelly is likely to miss most of the National League with a hamstring injury.

TYRONE ARE SET to be without captain Matthew Donnelly for the duration of the National League through injury, while it looks doubtful if he could be back in time for their Ulster Championship meeting against Donegal in Ballybofey.

Donnelly left the pitch at half-time of his club’s Ulster club Championship defeat – on penalties – to Derrygonnelly Harps with a suspected hamstring strain.

When the game moved into extra time, he was brought on again and there was a hope that his injury might not have been quite as serious as feared.

However, Donnelly went for a scan last week which showed up he had damaged a tendon holding the hamstring to the bone.

He is travelling to London for an operation today [Tuesday] and the usual recovery for an operation of this kind is six months.

This would leave Donnelly out of the National League entirely and with April being reserved exclusively for club games, he will want to get some game-time for Trillick before going up against Donegal.

It is the latest in a busy off-season for Tyrone. Manager Mickey Harte is entering the last year of his current arrangement and there has been a lot of flux in his backroom.

Selector and forwards coach Stephen O’Neill stepped down, while their strength and conditioning expert Peter Donnelly took up a role with Ulster Rugby, later also combining it with the same role with Monaghan.

Assistant manager Gavin Devlin will have to serve a sideline ban at the start of the year. Meanwhile, Harte has added former Derry coach Kevin Madden and former Ulster Rugby strength coach Jonny Davis to the mix.

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